Here’s a riddle for you. What might Hollywood star Charlize Theron have in common with a teen surfer on a flying hoverboard - and a band of freedom fighters from the future who believe that the Earth is hollow?
And what could any of it possibly have to do with Athens?
The answer lies in an unsettling new multimedia romp brought to Athens by the French music producer Surkin and sought-after French-Greek filmmaker Romain Gavras, who has directed incendiary music videos for the likes of Kanye West, M.I.A., Jay-Z, and Justice.
Kicking of 2022 with a bang, Romain Gavras’ Gener8ion, co-produced by Onassis Culture and Iconoclast, will pop up at three different Onassis Foundation locations in Athens from January 16.
Comprised of three short films, the dystopian audio-visual journey takes place in the year 2034 and traces a future narrative that feels disturbingly like our present:
At The Mandra urban art space, on pedestrianised Dionysiou Aeropagitou Street in Plaka, Charlize Theron is an AI scanner out collecting emotions in Mumbai for the Indian film industry.
In Neo Surf, at Onassis Stegi, youths let rip on flying surf boards in an industrial wasteland on the outskirts of Athens. Climate change has produced toxic algae; rendering the region hazardous.
And at Onassis Ready (a repurposed former plastics factory in the neighbourhood of Rentis), an allied air squadron poses with a captured spacecraft in a propaganda video Agartha. The insurgent group, who violently opposes space exploration in favour of colonising subterranean Earth, has declared its independence from the North American Union in the states of Wyoming and Idaho.
Onassis provides this compelling taster of the film trilogy:
“There is no sudden threat, no end-of-the-world scenario, just a seemingly ‘normal setting threaded through with a slow, invisible violence of the kind we’re experiencing today, in the midst of a pandemic.”
Meanwhile, Romain Gavras has this to say of his first time shooting in Athens and Greece:
“We made something I could not have made anywhere else in the world built from images and locations of Greece I had in my mind since I was a child. Kids will be kids, doing kid's thing and creating memories even if the world is dying.”